California Attorney General Rob Bonta says millions of fentanyl pills and powder have been seized.
LOS ANGELES -- California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Wednesday that millions of fentanyl pills and powder have been seized in the state since April 2021.
"DOJ-led task forces have seized over 4 million fentanyl pills and nearly 900 pounds of fentanyl powder, and arrested 200 dealers and poison peddlers across the state," Bonta said.
This was a statewide move by the California Department of Justice to combat fentanyl, a powerful and potentially addictive synthetic opioid.
"We've been noticing an increase in fentanyl involved deaths since 2016 here in L.A. County and the most significant increase was after the pandemic. So, 2020 into 2021, we saw a doubling in the rate of overdoses here in L.A. county," said Brian Hurley, medical director at the division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Task forces throughout the state have been working to disrupt fentanyl operations.
"In Southern California after a thorough investigation, we executed an operation through the Los Angeles IMPACT task force which resulted in the seizure of 52 pounds of powder fentanyl. That's enough fentanyl to make 250,000 pills," Bonta said.
Bonta says they believe fentanyl is coming from out of the state and country.
Illicit fentanyl is often added to other drugs such as pills, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. Experts say there is also rainbow-colored fentanyl which could be used to appeal to teens. They say even a little bit of fentanyl can cause an overdose.
"Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than morphine. Morphine is a similar active ingredient to heroin," Hurley said.
Naloxone, also known as its brand name Narcan, is used to treat narcotic overdoses in emergency situations.
You can find more overdose prevention resources on the Los Angeles County public health website.
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